Screenshot of one of the versions of the video game FIFA. NÉSTOR PARRONDO/ EP3
Goodbye to FIFA. One of the most popular video games in history, which has been triumphing on screens for almost 30 years, will stop being called that in the summer of 2023. The company Electronic Arts (EA) and FIFA itself have officially broken the agreement that has united them for nearly three decades. They will still launch a final edition this fall, which they anticipate will be the best ever. Afterwards, the game will continue to exist thanks to EA’s agreements with the main Leagues and football clubs, but it will adopt another name.
The contract between FIFA and EA expired at the end of the next World Cup in Qatar, which will be held in November and December. The two parties have reached an agreement to extend the pact until the end of next season, thus reaching the Women’s World Cup in the summer of 2023, as announced by the Californian company.
The game will be renamed EA Sports FC. In reality, it will not change much. EA has agreements with UEFA for the Champions League and the Europa League, with Conmebol for the Copa Libertadores and with the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, the Spanish LaLiga and the Italian Serie A, among many others. All these rights are what allow the names, images (and even the style of play) of the footballers, the competition systems, the stadiums and even the songs of the public to be reproduced in the game.
The note in which EA announces the name change comes with comments from those responsible for some of those competitions, thus exhibiting that power. “EA Sports represents the pinnacle of interactive soccer experiences for today and tomorrow, and we are honored to continue working with them, as we have for more than 20 years,” he says. in the statement Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga. “We are committed to partnering with EA SPORTS FC to deliver an innovative and authentic experience and to grow the love of football together, around the world and for years to come.”
They are mostly exclusive rights, so it will be difficult for competitors to strip EA of its clear leadership position in soccer video games, a leadership that the company estimates at more than 150 million players worldwide. FIFA has been a round and lucrative business, which has generated more than 20,000 million euros in revenue throughout its history.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
For FIFA, however, the $150 million a year it received from the deal was not enough. He even wanted to double the number and also a greater presence of his brand in other EA products. There has been no agreement and the future will tell if it was a miscalculation on the part of FIFA to break up with its main commercial partner. It will be difficult for another video game company to pay a higher figure. In fact, EA does not completely close the door to being able to offer the World Cup in its video game if it reaches a last-minute agreement with FIFA.